If the electronic switch (gate) is triggered after the cycle peak then it would defiantly seem to be a reduced voltage starter. Even if the switch is triggered before the cycle peak, such that the peak voltage is included in the cycle, the nominal voltage as read by a volt-meter is still going to be reduced.
I’ve even been toying with the idea of using a solid state starter to send the very tail end of the power cycle to the motor windings of a small hermetic compressor, as a way to eliminate the crank case heater. The windings themselves would become the heater and with the voltage turned low enough the motor itself wouldn’t budge.
Other than that I agree with your assessment.